Becoming an OLF – WBO (Miseensa ABO – WBO Ta’uu)
By Bedassa Tadesse, April 19, 2019
Many people often ask, how did the OLF develop so many supporters/ members. While the answer to that question is best given by someone else above my pay grade, I thought a conversation I recently had with a close friend of mine may give us some clues.
My friend suggested that there are three major ways in which people end up becoming members of the OLF. While I did not disagree with him, I thought there is a fourth one. Leaving aside who among the two of us is right to your own judgment, I present the three ways my friend listed first, followed by what I think is the 4th way.
- Being born to Oromo parents and getting raised as an Oromo. Even if you do not know what the OLF is, having an Oromo blood is one of the major factors that makes you labeled as a member of the OLF by successive regimes in Ethiopia. This reminds me of the famous saying by the late PM Meles Zenawi: flip every member of the OPDO, you will find that he or she is an OLF.
- Going to school, being a successful grade school student, excelling in your education, joining a university and getting your formal degrees from accredited colleges and universities, at home or abroad. To use my own experience, I had no idea what the OLF was until I got off the bus that took me to my undergraduate university campus, Haromaya University. Long story short, it was during the very first day of my arrival at Haromya that I ended up picking the thoughts I have today – that I am Oromo in everyway I am, and I am committed to being that way for the rest of my life – which makes you think that I am an official member of the OLF.
- You grow up, become a man or woman of your own, look at your surroundings, start to form your own political opinion, and you find out that the position you hold on most things in life, your true inner core and beliefs align well with no other political party but the OLF and you become an officially certified member of the OLF.
- You are neither of the above, nor have any interest in politics. You feel that being affiliated with a political party or getting involved in politics is not for you. You just mind your own business however attractive or not that may be. It is possible that you may not even be an Oromo, except that you have many Oromo friends who may or may not be affiliated with the OLF. Suddenly the government starts to chase you. They haras you; they fire you from your work. Then you ask them what is my crime? To your wildest surprise, they tell you that you are a supporter of the Oromo cause, making you to yearn for the days you would become an official member of the OLF or one who picks up arms and join WBO.
Which route brought you to the OLF? Tell us your story and we will have a lot to learn the many paths (routs) that take people to the OLF/WBO camp. Horaa Bulaa!